Newsletter no.148, April 2020

It’s life, but not as we knew it (with apologies to Star Trek!) So much confusion finally settling into a different way of living. Oh, the heartache of being unable to see dear friends and family, the uncertainties of work, the limitations on what we’ve always regarded as the norm. Some friends were completely thrown by the restrictions and took a while to devise a new routine for themselves. And above all, the fear!

I’m so grateful that I had work to do and needed to get on with it, and the spring flowers cheered me up no end. Daffodils, early tulips and grape hyacinths formed a spectacular border at the front of the house and I would go out to admire it whenever I felt gloomy. Prayer partners helped, too. We check every morning that we’ve got out of bed and say what we plan to do. Then we recheck in the evening to make sure we’d done it.

I spend a lot of time on phone and email, but have got a little further with the next book. There’s been quite a lot of email about my naming a new and somewhat unpleasant character ‘Felicity’. I had completely forgotten that I’d had someone called that name in an early book, but clearly in my subconscious I wasn’t happy about it, or I wouldn’t have talked to you about giving someone else the same name. A friend has duly suggested ‘Cynthia’ and yes, that does seem to fit the bill. Many thanks to all who’ve chimed in on this issue.

Another short story came out in March, about ten year old Joe’s investigations into the meaning of life – and Chocolate Easter Eggs – in Lent. I have already sent a copy to all those on my Request List, but if are not on that and would like to read it, then let me know and I’ll send it to you. The Easter story will be published on April 10th. It’s titled ‘I have a difficult job for you . . .’ I’ll send out copies in the usual way, after it’s published.

I believe lots of people have asked the libraries to reserve them copies of the latest in the Abbot Agency series . . . Hurray! This is FALSE CONCLUSION. Evelina, a wealthy but backward schoolgirl is dumped on Bea Abbott and her ward, Bernice for the holidays. An uncle of Evelina’s suddenly dies and her family signal that the girl had something to do with his death, while at the same time making a huge fuss of young Bernice. Is this because she will be a very rich girl one day? Then Bea’s long-divorced ex-husband turns up and tries to mend fences with her. Is it time to forgive him?

Also out last month are the large print, paperback and audiobook versions of MURDER BY SUGGESTION, in which the dreadful Diana and her friends have all been accused of murder by their husbands. Naturally they take refuge with Ellie, and d expect her to find a way out of their problems.

A blessing on all who can spare the time to listen to other people’s problems . . .

Veronica Heley